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Filip Rosz and Metamet

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Barry Thomas from Farm Jeep shared this story of a family who purchased a Metamet Jeep.

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Filip is seated in the passenger seat.

Anita Long was kind of enough to share some photos and stories about her father, Filip Rosz. He worked for years at the British firm of Metamet, which in the late 1940s and 1950s specialized in refurbishing jeeps into a wide range of specialty models.

Filip came to the UK the hard way. According to Anita, he was originally from Lwow and in the Polish Home Army at the outbreak of World War II. During the autumn campaign of 1939, he was taken prisoner by the Soviets. Deported to a POW camp in Siberia, after two years he was released as a result of the negotiations of the Polish Government in London with the authorities in Moscow.

He travelled a long way to enlist in the 2 Polish Corps that was forming in the west, the 8th British Army. He went through a combat route to Iran and Egypt to Monte Cassino in Italy. He served in 3PU in the West as a mechanic and driver in the 2nd Warsaw Panzer Division.

After the war he was a displaced person, since his home town was now in Russia. He ended up in London and started working at Metamet, as it was owned and run by Poles in similar circumstances.  Though listed as a Panel Beater, Anita says her father was the best welder at Metamet.

One Metamet employee Anita wanted to also mention was General Julian Zdzislaw Starosteck who, for a brief time, was the production engineer at Metamet before going to America and working on the Patriot Missile.

Anita tells me that Metamet was well known to a lot of Poles who came to settle in London. In fact, her Polish Step-father worked there briefly before he joined the Merchant Navy. He was too young for the war but did join the Polish Navy as a Submariner with the express purpose to ‘jump ship’, which did happen when his first pert of call outside of Poland was Edinburgh. He made his way down to London and hooked up with the Metamet guys.

Metamet not only rebuilt and sold jeeps, but also provided transportation for Film Garden Parties,  events where British and American film and stage actors mingled with everyday folks. Filip was one of the employees that would chauffeur the stars in Metamet jeeps. At some point, he met his future wife Joan at one of the events.

Joan loved the Garden Parties and was an avid collector of autographs. She also would bring along her box Brownie camera to snap photos. For Joan, it was love at first site when she met Filip. They married in 1952. Only eight years later, in 1960, Anita’s father Filip passed away.

Anita labeled her father in each of these rarely-seen photos. A big thanks to Anita for sharing them.
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2 Comments on “Filip Rosz and Metamet

  1. Mike

    What an interesting story with pictures to back it up, along with the family history. I want to Thank Anita Long for sharing her valued story, and I say that with great respect. And to Dave, for all the time and effort he puts into EWillys, so that all of us can read and enjoy thee by gone moments in history.

  2. David Eilers Post author

    Thanks Mike. And, thanks to Anita, we know far more about Metamet than we did a few days ago.
    – Dave

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